Soul Gems are used for enchanting weapons and armor at an Arcane Enchanter or recharging previously enchanted weapons. After using a soul gem, (with the exclusion of Azura's Star and The Black Star), it is destroyed.
Filled and empty soul gems can be purchased from General Goods Merchants (Skyrim), court magicians and some members of the College of Winterhold. Filled gems are three to four times the price of an empty one.
- In Dwemer ruins, most Dwarven Automatons drop soul gems, ranging from Petty to Grand gems. They may or may not be filled.
- Vampire Lairs, (in vampire lairs Black Soul Gems might also be found.)
- Nordic ruins
- There are also a number of soul gems that can be found at The College of Winterhold, most of which cannot be taken without stealing. Becoming Arch-Mage revokes this crime, unless the Soul Gems are owned by an NPC.
- During a quest for Drevis Neloren, one to three free, empty Soul Gems of any size can be obtained.
- Several unmarked locations on the world map.
Trapping souls in Soul Gems requires the Conjuration spell Soul trap or a Soul Trap enchantment. Killing an enemy with the spell cast upon them or using the enchantment draws their soul into one gem of the appropriate size. If no gem of the appropriate size or greater exists in the inventory, the soul is lost. An example of a weapon enchanted with the ability to capture souls is the Mace of Molag Bal. In The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, souls can be captured by activating a Soul Fissure in Soul Cairn, so long as an empty Soul Gem sits in the inventory.
Soul size is determined by enemy type. Generally, smaller or lower-leveled creatures possess Lesser, Petty, or Common souls, such as Foxes, Falmer, or Chaurus. Larger or higher-leveled creatures possess Greater or Grand souls, such as a Mammoth (Grand) or Giants (Greater).
Humanoid races (Men or Mer) possess Grand souls, but can only be trapped in a Black Soul Gem or the Daedric Artifact Black Star, which is obtained through the quest of the same name. Falmer, Draugr and Rieklings are an exception, as their souls may be captured by standard gems.
Soul gems are separated into types based on the capacity they can carry. The soul gem types are petty, lesser, common, greater, grand and black.
|Azura's Star||0||1000||3000||Can hold any soul, excluding those of Humanoids. (e.g. Argonians, Khajiit, Men, Mer, etc.)|
|The Black Star||0||1000||3000||Is said to only hold souls of Humanoids, but in fact can hold any soul.|
|Petty Soul Gem||0.1||10||250||Can hold creature souls below level 4.|
|Lesser Soul Gem||0.2||25||500||Can hold creature souls below level 16.|
|Common Soul Gem||0.3||50||1000||Can hold creature souls below level 28.|
|Greater Soul Gem||0.4||100||2000||Can hold creature souls below level 38.|
|Grand Soul Gem||0.5||200||3000||Can hold any soul, excluding those of Humanoids|
|Black Soul Gem||1||500||3000||Can hold any soul, including those of Humanoids.|
|Soul Gem Fragment||0.1||5||0||Cannot hold souls.|
The following are creatures that give souls:
|Giant Frostbite Spider|
|Wounded Frostbite Spider|
|Draugr Scourge Lord|
|Draugr Death Overlord Archer|
Black Soul GemsEdit
In addition to the creatures above, Black Soul Gems can be used for gathering humanoid souls such as:
- NPCs (A character, not necessarily hostile, from any of the 10 playable races)
- Fire Mage
- Ice Mage
- Storm Mage
- If a soul of a small size has been trapped in a large soul gem, the gem can be dropped and then picked up. The gem will then be empty.
- Stolen charged soul gems cannot be used to recharge magical weapons.
- The Azura's Star will retain any trapped soul if dropped, however it will not be destroyed when used, so using a smaller soul for random enchantment will clear it, and give some enchanting experience.
- After a Black Soul Gem is used, the soul used is sent to the Soul Cairn, a plane of Oblivion where only the dead and the undead can exist (under normal circumstances).